HEAD2HEAD: pyxis goes full collabo mode on her debut album

Hear the premiere of First Thing In The Morning with Physics

UK D&B deepsmith pyxis drops her debut album HEAD2HEAD this week.

A 12-track peer-packed project comprising link-ups with Alpha Rhythm, Stunna, Impression, C4GE, Easy, Jay Dubz, Rezilient, Dip Vertigo, SOLA, Marble Elephant, CPH, MSDos, Physics and Near Edge, HEAD2HEAD spans pyxis’s deepest sonic range and reflects the unique and highly positive influence she’s had since emerging exactly four years on Goldfat.

“I had a lot of unfinished sketches, that I hadn’t intended to really go back to, but I just woke up one day thinking how cool it would be turn them into a collab album on Headsbass,” explains pyxis who founded the Headsbass label during lockdown as a means to raise money for mental health charities through drum & bass.

Four years old this April, the brand has raised over £11,000 and donated to over 40 charities. Super consistent in its output – and a recommended place to scope for rising talent, especially on the deeper side of the genre – Headsbass is the perfect home for pyxis’s debut album. Not just in terms of its release, but also its co-creation with label family and friends.

“No A&R to impress, nobody to sell the concept to, just my own little memoirs and journey with a bunch of good friends. The concept is literally just what it sounds like, putting heads together to be able to bring some of my older ideas into the here and now, like chapters I guess, as I want to do three of these volumes and the second is already in the works.”

Not just a debut LP, then, but the start of a series of collabo-albums… Reflecting her unique emergence into the game as the only new-gen D&B artist to ever debut into the scene at the age of 40, HEAD2HEAD is once again a one-of-a-kind move from the community minded artist. And it seems there will be more fresh manoeuvres once the series is complete.

“I’m aiming for three volumes in total, with all Headsbass crew, which will release Feb 24, Feb 25 and Winter 25. At which point, the main Headsbass series will have reached 15 volumes and I think at that point I intend to stop Headsbass as we know it,” pyxis reveals. “That said, it won’t fully stop. I have new concepts for it, which I won’t talk about now, in case I change my mind, but realistically, having my own established label will be a godsend for as long as I want to make and release myself, and still support newcomers and established artists. I just won’t be doing stuff in 2026 as albums, so watch this space!”

Watch this space. But first, listen to this premiere of First Thing In The Morning, a collaboration with Finnish OG Physics taken from HEAD2HEAD and read on for our short interview with the pair of them.

What a perfect sentiment to that sample! Pretty much sums up life really doesn’t it? Percentage-wise how much of your time every day is taken up with musical thoughts and activities?

Physics: It used to be 99% LOL but let’s say it’s more like 50% these days. It’s like the say with this music once it has touched you deep inside there is no turning back.

pyxis: I would say the same, but mine’s gone from like 40% to 10% which is devastating really, life has got in the way, I listen to music less, I make music less, I think about music less, but this will change, it’s a blip, it will come back!

Is it Quincy Jones on the sample? Which one of you found that?

Physics: No it’s Miles. I have always been into Jazz music. When Marisa sent over the stems for this I instantly saw an possibility to make something a little bit out of the norm, that upright bass kinda took it in a jazzy direction. I also happened to listen to a lot of bebop around the time of writing the tune so that inspired me.

How did the collab come about and how did you find your groove working together?

Physics: As I’ve worked with Marisa’s company and for previous installations of HEADSBASS it kinda came naturally i think. I really like the style she is writing under pyxis guise so I was really happy she asked me to be part of this album.

pyxis: Yes I sent this one to Physics as I knew he’d pick up on what I was trying to convey, originally it had no Miles in it, that was something that I was loving when it came back finished!

Did the track and the creative process surprise you or take you on any interesting departures at any point?

Physics: I did go back in a few times to fix some details but it came together rather fast tbh. My best stuff aways does to be honest. And pyxis had already written a pretty groovy b-line to work around so it was quite a smooth journey from there.

pyxis: Yeah I was super happy with the interpretation and speed of this colab, originally I called the sketch ‘We Down’ and it was one of the much more recent things I sketched out compared to the rest of the album.

Where did you find your own individual skills complemented each other the most?

Physics: I always find it interesting to work with other people as it usually takes the music to another level, dimensions it would not reach otherwise. I’ve seen this happened a lot of times! On this especially I think our strength is the fact we do like a similar approach to the music.

pyxis: I knew it needed a more broken beat, and a jazzy vibe, that’s why I asked Physics to pick it up and he just naturally found his way to fill in the blanks on the sketch, it was so easy!

I hate mornings personally. The first thing I do is moan that I’m awake. Then I get to the gym and I’m okay (as can be) What’s the first you both do in the morning to ensure you have good days?

Physics: haha. I’m the same actually. I hate mornings so i usually get up quite late but then I put on some music, usually hiphop or jazz or something laidback and have a proper brekkie, that usually saves the day!

pyxis: As I’ve got older, I’ve found mornings easier, I suppose now the kids are old enough not to be up in the night and get themselves up in the morning, I have slept a bit better. I wake up, have my cappuccino and medication, do the school run for my little lady then I come home and do a mixture of work and home education for my littlest man who’s 8.

Aww! Reckon you’ll collab again?

Physics: I do hope so! It’s been nice to follow pyxis journey and looking forward to working on more in the future!

pyxis: That would be awesome, I hope so!

HEAD2HEAD is out February 23

Follow pyxis: Facebook > Soundcloud > Instagram   

Follow Physics: Facebook > Soundcloud > Instagram  



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